Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!


English Forums

Use our English forums to learn English. The message boards are great for English questions and English answers. The more you contribute, the more all members can practice English!


Life Talk!

Can men and women REALLY be friends ?!



French Southern Territories


Michel de Montaigne.Michel de MontaigneThe concept that sex is the main obstacle to platonic friendship is so familiar, it might seem timeless. It's endorsed by Dear Prudence readers and by Hollywood. It's why it was awkward for me to sleep on Jeff's trundle bed and took the M79 home, instead. At heart, the "sex problem" is a "man problem": Even if women can repress their sexuality, the story goes, men can't. That's the notion behind a hokey meme several readers sent me called the Ladder Theory, which posits that men have a single "ladder" for all the women they know, with those they actively want to bed at the top rung and those they would screw only if extremely drunk at the bottom. This meme, in turn, corresponds to well-publicized claims that the "sexual pursuit area" of the male brain is 2.5 times larger than that of the female brain and that testosterone drives men into a sort of chemical trance when they see a pair of breasts. How could a beast like the human male, whose mind turns to pornographic pulp whenever a female enters his frame of vision, maintain a friendship with a woman?

And yet, the apparently insurmountable "sex problem" was once a secondary issue. Before the advent of modern feminist thinking, before two world wars opened up employment, and before institutions of higher education diversified, arguments against the feasibility of platonic friendship emphasized female incapacities rather than male urges. The logic, essentially, wasn't that men and women chatting together would get distracted by the prospect of physical contact, but that they wouldn't have anything to chat about.

Aristotle, who wrote on friendship at length in the Nicomachean Ethics, mostly excludes women from the discussion. And while he grants that friendship is possible between husband and wife, he specifies that marriage is an unequal and therefore imperfect relationship—it's comparable to the bond between ruler and subject. The many Western scholars who turned to the topic over the next few thousand years tended to agree. In de Amicitia Cicero argues that friendship exists between "good men," with the implication that women can't rise to the occasion. "[T]o tell the truth," Michel de Montaigne wrote in the 16th century, "the ordinary capacity of women is inadequate for that communion and fellowship which is the nurse of this sacred bond; nor does their soul seem firm enough to endure the strain of so tight and durable a knot."

10:49 PM Oct 02 2010 |

The iTEP® test

  • Schedule an iTEP® test and take the official English Practice Test.

    Take Now >



WoW ..

 it depends on how edcuated u r abt the friendship standard wether you r man or women .

07:28 AM Oct 03 2010 |



French Southern Territories


Thanks for the comment and I will explain to you how relationship should be in my Islamic point of view :

Aas for men and women of course it is with no harm to know eachother or deal OFFICIALLY with eachother or talk to eachother,but the boundary is when the relationship between the man and the woman turns to be just like a man with his friend or more than that…like sleeping in his house on the claim he is just a friend or going out with him for lunch…whether educated or not,because this is a matter of hormonic interactions not a matter of mentality and if women can not feel that as men trust me every man feels that.

In my religion,the only way for a man to have the permission to do whatever he wants with a woman is when she is his wife.

Aas for me of course I know women,but I never invited one to dinner or lunch or slept in her house,of course if a woman needs my help I'll be glad to help her,but I don't go beyond the normal relation with her,about friends why should I make a woman as the closest friend imagine she has married than her husband will be so jealous about her and that might end with problems between her and him.

In the other hand I've got many men friends who can trust me as I trust in them and our friendship might last forever :)


Thanks again for the comment,Salam ;)

10:37 AM Oct 03 2010 |

Lovely Fabian

United Arab Emirates

Friendship untainted with mailce between a man and a woman is just one of the few absolute truths in life..

10:42 AM Oct 03 2010 |



I think the term FRIENDSHIP has a different meaning from a place to another and from a culture to another.

10:58 AM Oct 03 2010 |




I agree with you…so what do you think is better ?

10:01 PM Oct 03 2010 |



French Southern Territories


The point of view is clear: nothing ot everything,i.e. you ignore a woman or you have power upon her. 

Please,do not misinterprete my words.

I do not say neither agree with any of what khawas said.

I just want to denote the fact that cross_sex friendships are just like if you bring two magnet pieces (+and-) and put them near,they will sonner or later get closer and closer until they stick on eachother.

I'll ask a question to every married one.do you agree or at least feel satisfied if one day you see your wife/husband having dinner or going to cinema or even sleeping with someone else ?! I'm sure no body is to resist his jealousy especially when it comes to his soulmate.

In my opinion,real friendships should be "naturally" be only between the same sexes.

After all it depends on ones religion in the first place.

The world has good and bad and what is between them is always a matter of doubt.the same with wicked relations and marriage what comes between them is crossed_sex relationships.

We can see more colourful world when we feel satisfied and peaceful,not only by having boy/girlfriends


12:40 AM Oct 04 2010 |




too difficult subject and people always tell about that.

ı think men and women can be friend .but when and until when. 

they can be friends when they were child.

they can be friend ıf they are single.and teenage.

they can be friend whe they married

after they found real life freinds and marry ı think they shouldnt be friends.

because Their soul created so diffrent and set up to be love ecahother.

for example I am single.and ı can be friends everywomen.If ı would fınd love to anywomen.I have to spend mytime for her..and she have to spend hertime for me.

If ı am marry..not good because It is mean betray her.and he or she can jeloaus and sad ..

maybe ı am think of wrong..but myopinion…like that.

and religion too important..ın islam dont allow about that.

and turkish men so jelaous..they can do everthing.

eourope people more comfort about that.

ıf someone marry he or she should allow theirhusband or wife that they can be friends other sex.If they want to be friends with anyone…need fair about that.

I am single.Thats way I am confort about that.and I can be friends women.

but If ı can fınd friends that love her.If she dont allow to me.After that I can go on to write and chat women friends.

it is true and fair I think. 



08:34 AM Oct 04 2010 |



sorry ı correct mylast sentences.

ı mean If I marry ın future .ıf She dont allow to me about that.

I should not to go on as frıends other women.

I think it is herright.



08:49 AM Oct 04 2010 |




I completely agree with you.


10:58 AM Oct 04 2010 |



French Southern Territories


I'm grateful for your understanding,but unfortunately you still misinterpreting my words !

Did I mention anything about children or something like that here ?

All I said is concerning adult relationships,.yes I know that one should be open_minded for the others…everybody knows these terms,but don't you think theat opennes has limits ?!

Anyway I don't know your religion or if you are an atheist,however,all religions have a depsising point of view towards the term of the very relatioship between Men and Women,and even science Justified that.

However if you're an atheist You can do whatever you want because no body will jdge you as you think.

AGAIN I stress on the notion that not friendship it self is the meant subject here,all I poit on is the outcomes of a non_marriage relatioship between adult Men and women and Normalizing this term in the last centuries.

Thanks for reding me I hope you'll have a better impression this time :)

01:39 PM Oct 04 2010 |